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Go Ask Mom

MomsRising: Local moms groups organize to host MLK Day event

Posted January 11, 2011

Dr. & Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr. pose for a portrait.  (World Telegram & Sun photo by Herman Hiller)

If your kids are like mine, birthdays are a hot topic. Whether it’s holding a party for a favorite doll, chattering away about a friend’s recent party or counting down the days to their own, my kids love birthdays.

So it’s no wonder that the idea of Martin Luther King Day intrigues them. As my oldest said, “Mama, what did he do that was so special that everybody celebrates his birthday?”

Maybe you’ve heard this question, too. Now that my kids are older, I want to make sure they understand exactly what Dr. King did and how it changed the world for all of us. His lessons about equality, fairness, sharing, kindness and service are perfect for kids, but I’ve struggled to find events that talk about his life and legacy in a kid-friendly, age-appropriate way. So this year, the Durham Mothers’ Club and A Sea of Learning are organizing a birthday party for Martin Luther King, Jr., and we hope you and your child will join us!

We’ve joined with parents’ organizations across the Triangle to put together a special MLK Day event for kids and families. Here are all the details:

What: Join us for an English/ Spanish story time, crafts, and birthday cake as we celebrate his life and legacy in a way that kids can understand.

In continuing Dr. King’s commitment to service, participants are asked to bring a boxed cake mix, canned icing, candles, vegetable oil, or disposable pans to donate for birthday bags for families served by the Durham Urban Ministries food pantry. Donations can also be dropped off in advance at A Sea of Learning in Northgate Mall or at Gymboree at 3515 Witherspoon Blvd. in Durham.

When: MLK Day, Monday, January 17. The party will start at 11 with preschool story time at 11:15 and school-aged story time at 12:15.

Where: A Sea of Learning at Northgate Mall, 1058 West Club Blvd. in Durham.

Sponsored by: Durham Mothers Club, A Sea of Learning, Mocha Moms, Carrboro/ Chapel Hill Mothers Club, NC MomsRising, and Macaroni Kid

Questions? Call us at 919-544-8781

Beth Messersmith is a Durham mother of two and member of NC MomsRising. Find her here once a month on Wednesday.

7 Comments

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  • jettybane Jan 14, 2011

    As a woman who grew up in the 50's and 60's and know how it was when there were different water fountains in my home town for whites and blacks, I am surprised at some of the comments in reference to the birthday party for Dr. King. When I was a little white girl and ask my Mama why two water fountains, she responded that some people didn't know that we are all equal in God's eyes no matter what color we are. I recently heard a little 5 year old girl, who had just met a precious black baby, tell her mother that she would like to have his pretty chocolate skin rather than her peach skin. When her mother asked why, she said because it is prettier. I think the Mothers' Rising organization is to be admired for trying to teach all children that we are all equal and to teach them the legacy of Dr. King. i pray that someday people will not see skin color but only the value of the person. Dr. King will always be one of my heroes!

  • thinkoutloud Jan 14, 2011

    This is an incredibly creative opportunity to instill in our kids the value and power of service and commitment to an honorable cause. I really don't understand any criticism of it whatsoever.

  • fwfwille Jan 14, 2011

    I'm really looking forward to attending this event with my son. It'll be a good way to teach him about diversity, tolerance, and remembering the great leaders of our country.

  • atsheppard Jan 12, 2011

    I think it’s commendable that Dr. Martin L. King’s life is being celebrated. I think he is one of the greatest Americans since the founding of our country. I especially like the idea that his spiritual relevance is being spotlighted. He transformed our society from one permeated with racism to one in which most people regardless of their race or culture can participate.
    I once met Dr. King when I was a teenager. A local supermarket chain refused to hire black teens as bag boys and I was one of the teenagers who was not allowed to work. Dr. King and his organization SCLC led a protest/picket campaign. Dr. King spoke at a local theatre one night and I got to meet him one on one! I’ll remember the experience and what he told me forever. I tell of this chance meeting with one of the greatest heroes in American culture, in my book, “Talking Penny.”

  • bmg379 Jan 12, 2011

    and remember,Obama is a mixed race president,not REALLY the first black president,SORRY

  • rebecca7 Jan 12, 2011

    I agree that he wasn't really a good role model. At the same time, he did make a large impact. Equality is a good thing for the most part (and I'm a woman, saying that women shouldn't be treated as equals to men - we aren't in SO many ways). I realize this is a black/white issue and it had to be addressed at some point - which MLK, did a good job of. Federal holiday? I don't really believe it should be... but it is what it is. Holiday - sure, Federal - nope (and that's not because he was black for goodness sake!) There is still a major double standard with regards to 'racism' and it's strictly a one way street. Whites are racists but it's impossible for blacks to be racists. Doesn't make much sense to me. Take for example, the NAACP... it's existence screams racism but this sort of racism is allowed. If there were an NAAWP, heads would roll. It's the double standard that really gets to me.

  • Mugu Jan 12, 2011

    Is everyone blind? This guy was no role model.